Despite others gaining, AirPods still remain king in the wireless industry

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Truly wireless headphones are expected to grow 83% to 238 million units this year.
  • Apple's AirPods still command 29% of the market.

Truly wireless headphones and smartwatches are continuing to experience fast growth. In a new report, Counterpoint Research believes that the truly wireless headphone industry will grow 83% to 238 million units this year. Senior analyst Liz Lee says that the continued trend from smartphone manufacturers to remove the headphone jack from phones and earbuds from phone boxes is driving the adoption of truly wireless headphones.

"The trend around removing jacks and earphones from devices and boxes is becoming a big driver for TWS segment growth. It also helps that mobile media consumption continues to grow, making TWS the next must-have accessory."

Senior analyst Sujeong Lim says that the pandemic has caused an increase in consumer's focus on health and fitness which will continue to drive smartwatch growth.

"The normalization of economies coupled with increased interest in health and fitness will help the smartwatch market grow. We expect low double-digit growth through the medium term – possibly higher if average selling prices decline quickly."

Counterpoint Research Tws

Counterpoint Research Tws (Image credit: Counterpoint Research)

Apple still leads the truly wireless headphone market with its AirPods lineup. Lim says Apple's ecosystem, which creates a tight experience between its hardware, software, and services, has kept it in the number one spot.

"Apple's powerful iOS ecosystem, typically comprised of consumers with larger disposable incomes, has been the main driver for growth – especially in terms of revenues. High-end stalwart Samsung has also performed consistently."

Just last month Apple released AirPods Max, its first wireless over ear headphones in the AirPods lineup.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.